TIME recently published a beautifully told story by Jessi Hempel, about the highs and lows of her brother’s successful pregnancy. It’s both moving and straightforward—a husband and wife want a child. The husband gets pregnant and a baby is born. The husband becomes a father, the wife a mother.
Give it a read, and then come back because I’d love to hear your thoughts.
A few from me to start the discussion:
1. I’m not sure how or if our current family doctrine can account for situations like Evan’s. But as this story becomes more common (as Hempel’s research says it will), we’ll need to adapt. Evan is a human, and a child of God, and any system that is true and holy and universal must account for him, along with his child and spouse. The worth of their souls is just as great as any other soul.
2. I haven’t read Taylor Petrey’s essay yet, but Caroline Kline’s “yearn(ing) for a theology that is broad and expansive enough to include all people, gay and straight” is shared by me. Again, I consider that theology necessary for Mormonism to be what it claims (and what I believe it) to be.
3. I think the family doctrine as taught by Joseph Smith could probably account for Evan. I’m not a Joseph Smith history expert, but a few of you are; I hope you’ll chime in to let me know if you agree or disagree.
4. I believe doctrine is defined by the edges of the bell curve, not the middle. The difficult edge cases, not the easy stuff. I think Mormonism has the tools to handle edge cases with grace, beauty, inclusion, and love.
Interested in your (respectful, civil) comments.